UNHRC-Proof the Economy
Posted on April 3rd, 2021

Dilrook Kannangara

UNHRC voting clearly showed Sri Lanka’s friends and enemies (and the in-betweens). Although India abstained from voting, India fully supported the anti-Sri Lanka resolution. Sadly, some enemies are key export destinations (and import origins) of Sri Lankan produce (and Sri Lanka’s imports) which can become a future threat. While it is only the UN Security Council that can impose economic sanctions on a nation, individual nations are free to impose their own sanctions on another nation. It was not that long ago that the EU removed the GSP Plus facility to Sri Lanka following the defeat of Tamil terrorists. Therefore, it is vital to UNHRC-proof the Sri Lankan economy by diversifying Sri Lanka’s exports (and imports) away from EU nations and India.

Relying on EU nations and India will prove disastrous very soon when they complete their investigations into alleged war crimes and compel Sri Lanka to handover war heroes to be executed by them. While this process will take years, Sri Lanka must act now to diversify international trade away from these nations.

Besides the exports to these nations and USA actually earn on peanuts for Sri Lanka. All material, machinery, equipment, etc. for garment manufacturing are imported. If one considers the real local value addition it is extremely small. Other exports to these western nations are the same. This is the very reason they manufacture these in Sri Lanka and other less developed nations!

Sri Lanka’s future is in shipping, industrial exports, electronics, tourism, knowledge economy, marine resources, food production and import substitution. Garments, tea, export processing zones and other near slavery sweatshops are on their way out. Interestingly these industries locally are dominated by the very people who connived with the enemies of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC!

It will be a twin victory for Sri Lanka to move away from exports to and imports from enemy nations. The time to act is now.    

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